Every Day

Are You Tired of Overspending Your Grocery Budget?

Today is your lucky day! I have been busy while I have been ill so you get a BONUS post today!

I have asked this question of family, friends, and neighbors and I keep getting the same answer. Yes, we are sick of rising prices and having to spend so much more for the same products we purchased just a few weeks ago. If you shop at Walmart and/or Aldi, it seems their prices have really risen of late especially in my area. I see increases at my other stores but not as much because I always just buy mostly the loss leaders sales. The only prices that seem to have come down in recent weeks here are for eggs and butter. What are you guys seeing in your areas?

Over the past 2 and a half years, it has been very difficult to work within a budget for food. Would I like to go back to what I was spending back then? Sure I would but with inflation that is never going to happen. Even if they finally figure out how to get inflation back to about 2% a year, these prices you see now are not going to go back to what they were. It makes it so difficult for families to stay within a reasonable budget.

Well what is a reasonable budget today? Here are the USDA’s amounts for May 2023 which is the latest:

Many months I have spent more than these figures. It all depended on what we wanted to eat those months. Hubby is always adding to my grocery list things for complicated(lots of ingredients) recipes. One of his hobbies is finding recipes he wants to try and then I buy expensive ingredients( think spices) that only get used once. I need to find him a less costly hobby. I am guilty of going to the store with a list and coming out with more than what is on the list. How many times have you guys done that?

The other problem at least in this home and I would bet in all of your homes is you don’t eat what is already in your refrigerator, freezers, and on your shelves. Yes, I keep a pretty good check on leftovers, produce, and meat. I try to alternate my shelf food by eating the oldest first. We have very little waste in our home. However, I go to the store almost every week and buy more food because there is a great sale! How many of you are doing this? How many of you are stockpiling food for a disaster like a collapse of the economy, war, hurricanes and tornadoes just storms that take the power out? Do you have enough? What is enough? Three months, a year or two?

Well, I have decided that we have ENOUGH! This cycle of buying food every week has to stop. If we need it that is fine! But if we are just buying more each week just because it is on sale, I need to stop. Anyone else feel the same way?

So on July 1st, we came up with a better way to control our spending on groceries, etc. And we are not paying attention to what the government tells us we need to spend! I am tired of putting out money on overpriced products and watching the large corporations earn record profits every year while so many families are just trying to eat. The only way to get these prices to come down is through supply and demand. So I am going to do my part to lower my demand and buy fewer products. Over the past few weeks, I have already refused to buy products that I deemed way to high in price.

We have set a budget of $ 400. per month for the two of us. This will include all food, cleaning products, and personal care products. Our OTC medicines get lumped into our prescription budget. I will not spend one penny more and we will not starve. We will start incorporating what we already have into our meals. We will never waste food. Hubby has agreed to stop hunting for recipes and I will cook as simply as I can not only to use up what we have but to save on utility costs. I am actually hoping to save some of that $400. a month to build up some money for when it comes time to replenish on the sales.

Soda and junk food is out! We will finish what we have and I will not be buying more. They are empty calories and so very expensive. I drink water now and so does Hubby. We also drink iced tea and coffee. That soda and junk food money can be used for real food like fruits, vegetables, and meat. We will have treats but I will make them here in our home. Popcorn has lots of fiber, is cheap, and a 50 lb. bag lasts a very long time. The best part is that you can control any butter or salt.

I expect you guys to hold me accountable. I will show everything along this journey. I will show you all of our meals, what I purchase at the grocery store, how I use up leftovers, etc.

Anyone else tired of all of these high prices?

16 replies on “Are You Tired of Overspending Your Grocery Budget?”

Hi Precious. I went to the link for the USDA that you shared and we are still just over the range of the thrifty plan, but less than the low cost. It is interesting b/c I remember for the longest time I was able to keep it under the thrifty budget. I started looking at those charts when I first started following you and some of the other frugal blogs in 2007/8. Of course, we were in the Great Recession then and we who could coupon did well. How times have changed!

I am mostly doing loss leaders like you do, eating what is in season, and religiously checking the clearance areas. We try not to waste food also, and eat a lot of leftovers. I find I am buying less in quantity to stick to my budget. Using cash helps so much. Would highly recommend to your readers.

Prices here have seemed to stabilize, but at higher prices than before. I am like you and don’t buy things if the price is too high. One thing that is interesting here is that for the last 2 weeks, Kroger has had a special coupon for $10 off a $75 order for Fri-Sat-Sun. I am not sure if sales are down or not? I do know their profits are up.

Hi Chris,

Times have sure changed. I believe that we are in the Greater Recession Plus! You are doing well. Cash is King! I have exactly $400. in my wallet for this month’s groceries. By using cash, when it is gone it is gone. No credit cards allowed. If I need to do a credit card delivery ordered online, I will use gift cards that I used some of my grocery money to buy.

You are lucky if prices have stabilized there because they have not here. They just keep rising. UGH! What a nice Kroger coupon. Top’s does not do that. Sales across the country are down, I would bet because people have very little money to spend on food they may be down. But I have a feeling that a lot of people are charging groceries so they can feed their families.

Precious, I never thought about people charging groceries, but I bet you are right. That is scary to be living so close to the edge that you have to charge your groceries. πŸ™

We go through phases of freezer clean outs, and then fill ups. Right now, we have a bunch of frozen fruit, which is great, as we use it year round for protein smoothies. But, it takes up a lot of space. With 16 & 17 year old teen boys at home (and, often feeding their friends), it takes a lot of planning to stay on track with our budget, but we are largely able to. We don’t buy soda, and we do buy snacks, but try to keep it to once per week, and I also make things like homemade protein bars.

Otherwise, we meal plan, but probably our biggest saver is that we all eat leftovers. If you don’t want leftovers, good luck to you, because we eat leftovers for dinner at least three nights/week at our house, mostly due to schedules. That also really helps to keep waste in check.

We also do the basics, and I tend to buy gift cards for things we need (Home Depot, travel) at our grocery store, earn rewards, and then let the teens use the rewards for more splurge items (cereal, ice cream, chips) that we rarely have on hand.

Hi HP,

With teen boys it does take a lot of planning. I often had friends of our boys at our table. But prices weren’t rising the way they are now. I feel for you. The only snack we will buy now is tortilla chips for meals that I make with them and popcorn. Eating leftovers is how we roll too and that is where we save the biggest amount of money. I usually cook two meals at once so nothing gets wasted. If there are more leftovers, they get eaten for breakfast/lunch. The only rewards we get here at the grocery store is for gas points and they do add up.

Thanks so much for sharing.

I’ve give up stock piling. I have foods that I stockpiled 3 years ago at the beginning of the pandemic that are now expired and I had to throw them out!!! Like corn muffin mix. They expired a year ago and when I went to bake them, the muffins wouldn’t rise. Because they’re expired!
I try to set a monthly budget of $400 for the two of us, but it inches up to $500. Have you looked at Aldi’s packaging? It’s called shrinkflation. EVERYTHING is smaller at the same price. Which forces me to go back and back or buy double!
To be honest, last month (May) my food budget inched up to almost $700 (up from $500). It just has to stop! I’ve cut so many things out. No snacks or treats etc. etc but to no avail. I’m going to try again to cut back. I’ve cleared and cleaned out my freezer and fridge shelves. No more stock piling. Just the essentials (PS: hubs was diagnosed with anemia so he has to have red meat at least once per week. Lots and lots of chopped beef!! Rarely a steak. Oh well.)

Hi Cindi,

I am so sorry about your muffins. I learned a while ago that if you are using old packaged baking products that do not smell rancid, to add 1/4 cup of baking powder to the batter before you bake them. I found a cake mix in the back of my pantry that was 4 years old. I did the smell and taste test and added the baking powder and it rose and was delicious. Normally I would not use anything over 2 years old but I had over looked this mix.

Actually I haven’t been in Aldi’s for weeks because their prices are too high. The only time I have gone was to get the organic ground beef when it is on sale for $ 4.49 a lb.

I hear you on how easy it is to overspend the budget. I am going to try my hardest not to do it anymore.

I am so sorry to hear about your Hubby. Last I looked, ground beef was Beef. πŸ™‚ I stockpiled some steaks at good prices here only for the summer. We just gave up other things to be able to buy them. When they are gone, they are gone.

Thanks for sharing my friend!

Precious, I was thinking about adding baking powder but didn’t. Now that you have and it worked, I am going to try it. I didn’t throw out the rest of the muffin mix boxes yet. Perhaps there is still hope? LOL!!
Some of the prices at Aldi are still low BUT there’s that shrinkflation thing. Another thing I forget to do (but rarely) is check and look at prices. I bought a box of frozen fruit treats (on a stick) with no sugar added and when I got home and looked at the receipt, the box was almost $6.00!!!!!!! Never doing that again.
Live and learn.

Hi Cindi,

Yes there is hope! Just make sure you taste and smell to make sure you are not adding it to rancid food.

The shrinkflation is what is making them more expensive besides the price increases. I am done making these companies rich. If everyone stops doing that, the prices will drop.

We all live and learn.

Precious – I am excited to follow you and along with this journey. You always inspire me. Several years ago and on your previous blog, you used to write about “how you saved money throughout your day or what you did daily to save money”. I loved those and it helped keep me accountable as well.

I buy all meat from my son and DIL, who run a non-gmo farm: chicken, pork, beef, turkey. It is more expensive, BUT I have found that the meat lasts longer and does not spoil as quickly. Store bought meat seems to ruin very quickly and sometimes before I get it cooked. They also sell meat by the cut which means I don’t have to buy a side of beef or pork and have cuts that I will never use. AND I just text them an order and they deliver it. πŸ™‚

Daughter and I have a small garden with tomatoes, greens for salad and sandwiches, peppers. We stopped planting veggies that we struggle to eat. I have wild black raspberries, blackberry, and blueberry bushes that we forage, as well as wild morel mushrooms. We try to use what is provided.

Groceries are outrageous, but I have always been a prepper/stockpiler. I, like you, try to buy at rock bottom prices. I have also learned over the years to buy/stock only what I KNOW we like and will eat. I have wasted a lot of money thinking that “we’ll eat it eventually” and end up throwing stuff out.

I am going through a life transition this year and probably next learning how to be a single person instead of a couple since my husband passed last July. My difficulty is buying for 1 person (sometimes 1 1/2 since my daughter lives here when she isn’t traveling for work) and not a whole family – cooking and eating healthy for 1 and not snacking. It’s all about the excitement of the journey, right?

Hi Wendy,

I do remember you. Thank you for your kind words. I will try to live up to your expectations. As I age, it gets harder so some days I am just not up to it. But on the days that I feel 18 again, I can do it. The whole idea of my blog was born out of helping people and I continue to try to do that. As you can see, I never monetized it.

Oh you are so lucky to have a son and DIL to buy your organic meat. I agree with you on it lasting longer. Do you think it I texted them an order, they could deliver it? Just kidding! πŸ™‚

Nice garden. We did not plant this year because we have a lot left that I canned from last year. But for lettuce and tomatoes, I rely on my produce store. I love that you have so much friut. We have a cherry tree that was load this year. However before we went to visit my son, they were not ripe. When we came back the birds had eaten them all. But at least they got well fed.

I so agree with you on the prepping.

I am so sorry about your husband. Eating for one is difficult. My MIL used to cook a big pot of something up once a week and freeze in portions. After a while she had a variety that she could thaw from each morning. It worked well for her.

Thankfully, Chris is off the “I need everything Keto train” and has gone back to eating mostly normally. Lettuce is my downfall as I hate to buy the bagged but usually can’t get through a 3pk of romaine quickly enough. I will try putting it in a mason jar, thanks for the idea! Soda is another addiction but not ready to give that up yet, he has been drinking more Crystal Light and I usually switch at 4 so that cut backs a bit on the soda. Other than the lettuce I rarely have to throw anything out.

Hi Patti,

We aren’t being strick about it either. We watch our portions though. It will keep in the mason jar. I just keep them in my produce drawer and because of the glass container, it isn’t affected by other veggies that are in the drawer. Good job on not wasting.

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